A demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe came from union Minister and former state chief minister Farooq Abdullah. "The time has come for a CBI inquiry to be held immediately to see what funding was done, who are the people who received the funds, and how the funds were utilized," said Abdullah.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the former army chief should name the ministers and the matter would be probed. "If details are provided by Gen. Singh, we can investigate the matter," Shinde said.
The former army chief is under attack over reports that during his tenure the secret army funds were being misused to topple the Jammu and Kashmir government and that state minister Ghulam Hasssan Mir was paid Rs.1.19 crore to destabilise the state government.
V.K.Singh at a press conference Tuesday denied that any money was given to topple the state government. He said the money given for "development works" in the border state was "not a bribe".
Mir has vehemently denied getting any money out of the army's secret funds.
Ministers in the National Conference (NC)-Congress coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir ridiculed V.K. Singh's statement that state ministers have been getting secret funds from the army.
National Conference provincial president Devender Rana asked V.K.Singh to name the ministers who have taken money. "If the name of any NC minister figures, he will be sacked by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as the NC believes in morality and probity in public life."
"As far as (Ghulam Hassan) Mir is concerned, after the statement of General Singh, it is he who has to address to his conscience," Rana said in Srinagar.
Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said the central government must restrain the army and intelligence agencies from trying to interfere in democratic institutions.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani said the former army chief's statement has only proved what the separatists have been saying for years, while others in the separatist camp contacted by IANS said "the so-called mainstream Kashmiri politicians are responsible for choking the political space in Kashmir".
Union Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh said in New Delhi that V.K.Singh and the media should show "some restraint because these are sensitive issues; these are things that cannot be discussed on television."
Union Health Minister and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said he was shocked at seeing the reports. "I myself have been the chief minister, so I was shocked to know about this. I have no clue...that these things are being done and are happening."
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said, "If any malfeasance is found, then action will be taken against any officer serving or retired."
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh wondered why the former army chief was making such revelations now.
Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the revelation "does not augur well for the country".
"It demoralises the services and it also goes to undermine institutions, in this case military intelligence," she said.
The BJP has termed the leak of the army report as personal vendetta against V.K. Singh because he was seated next to the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at a rally in Rewari in Haryana.
--IANS (Posted on 24-09-2013)